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CMLT New Students: Three Types of Bible Commentaries

Choosing a Commentary

Choosing a commentary depends on:
  1. Your Audience: The faculty assigning your research is your audience. Be sure to use commentaries that will best support your work in their class. If a commentary is written for a general audience, it does not show your ability to understand critical, exegetical works.
  2. Your Intent: If you intend to be take seriously, use the "most serious" works to back up your writing.
  3. The Commentary's Scope and Context: If a commentary is dated, even if highly critical and extensive, it may not have the most recent linguistic, archaeological, or historical discoveries.

When Selecting a Commentary Ask the Following:
  1. Who wrote it and who is the publisher?
  2. What audience was this written for?
  3. When was it written?

You should as the "WHO, WHAT, WHEN" for any work you might cite.

Oxford Biblical Studies Online

Three Types of Bible Commentaries

  • for personal study
  • written for a general audience and not a contribution to a professional or scholarly discourse

      Coverart of "Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible"   Coverart of "Thru the Bible"   Coverart of "Romans and Galatians: A Devotional Commentary"

  • written for professionals and for professional application
  • bridge the gap between devotional and exegetical works

   Coverart of "Feasting on the Word" Coverart of "New Proclamation" Coverart of "Belief Series" Coverart of "Preaching: The Revised Common Lectionary". Coverart of "The Storyteller's Companion to the Bible"

  • written for scholarly purposes

   Coverart of "The New Interpreter's Bible" Coverart of "Smyth & Helwys Bible Commentary" Coverart of "Hermeneia" Coverart of "Abingdon New Testament Commentaries" Coverart of "The Oxford Bible Commentary"